Toronto Blue Jays top 5 draft picks recap

The Blue Jays had a good draft. Over the past few years they have selected a collegian with their first pick but they changed things up this year and went with a high school shortstop in the first round. The Jays selected 20 right-handed pitchers, two left-handers, nine infielders, five catchers and four outfielders. 29 were from college ranks, 9 high schoolers and two JC guys. So far they have now signed 14 of the first 15 picks and 30 overall are signed. Here is a recap of the top players selected.

1.12 Jordan Groshans, SS – Magnolia HS, Texas
Age 18 (DOB 11/10/99) 6’3” – 178 lbs

Toronto used their first selection on a high school player for the first time since 2013 when they selected RHP Phil Bickford, who they were unable to sign at the time. Groshans is a big, athletic infielder with a strong arm and power in his bat. He is listed as a shortstop but many feel that with his arm strength he projects more as a third baseman. He has an advanced hitting approach with power being his best hit tool. Groshans signed for a below-slot bonus of $3.4 M, He has started playing with the GCL Blue Jays and is 3 for 9 with a home run in his first 2 games.

2.52 Griffin Conine, OF – Duke University
Age 20 (DOB 07/11/97) 6’1” 200 lbs

Toronto continued with their love for drafting sons of former players with the selection of Griffin Conine, son of former major leaguer Jeff Conine. They may have got a bit of a steal with Conine at the 52nd pick. After a strong sophomore season in 2017 hitting .295/.425/.546 with 13 HR in 218 AB followed up by a strong showing in the Cape Cod League he was being looked at as first round candidate with the possibility of moving up as high as the top 10 if he had a strong 2018 season. He got off to a slow start this season and his stock slid down most draft boards. He did however finish the year hitting .286 with 18 HR. He is a well-rounded corner outfielder who should hit for both average and power. Still unsigned.

3.88 Adam Kloffenstein, RHP – Magnolia HS, Texas
Age 17 (DOB 08/25/00) 6’5” 243 lbs

Toronto went back to Magnolia HS to select the teammate and childhood friend of their first round pick Jordan Groshans. Kloffenstein has a 96 mph fastball with a good slider and a changeup that is said to be his best pitch but at times but lacks consistency. Kloffenstein was 11-1 with a 1.25 ERA, 113 K and 19 walks in 78 innings. By signing Groshans to an under-slot deal they were able to go over-slot on Kloffenstien signing him to a $2.45M bonus. He is working out in Dunedin and will play with the GCL Blue Jays.

4.116 Sean Wymer, RHP – Texas Christian University
Age 21 (DOB 03/19/97) 6’1 190 lbs

Wymer was a good value pick for the fourth round. He was ranked at #85 on the MLB pre-draft top 200 list. He is a well-rounded college pitcher with multiple pitches. Wymer pitched out of the bullpen in his first two seasons at TCU but in 2018 started in 10 of his 15 appearances. He had a 3.65 ERA with 69 K and 14 walks in 74 innings. With a 4 pitch mix he should be given the chance to become a back-end starter. Wymer has been assigned to Vancouver (Short Season-A) in the Northwest League

6.176 Addison Barger, SS – C. Leon King HS, Florida
Age 18 (DOB 11/12/99) 6’0” 175 lbs

It has been said that Barger has no real plus tools but does everything well. His best asset is a plus arm. He may eventually move to 2B. He was seen as a bit of a tough sign with his commit to Florida but the Blue Jays got it done and signed him to the full slot value of $271,100. He has started with the GCL Blue Jays and has a hit in each of his first 2 games.

ONE MORE

14.16 Johnny Aiello, 3B – Wake Forest
Age 21 (DOB 02/14/97) 6’2” 200 lbs

Aiello was ranked at #182 on Baseball America’s pre-draft list. He had a strong showing in the Cape Cod League last summer but his numbers at Wake Forest were down in 2018 from the strong sophomore season he had in 2017. He is considered to have above-average power but the high strikeout rate is a concern. Aiello has signed and been assigned to Bluefield in the Appy to start his career.

LATE ROUND FLYER

36.1076 Kam Guangorena, C – St. Johns Boscoe HS, California
Age 18 (DOB 10/16/99) 6’0” 180 lbs

Blue Jays took a chance picking Guangorena who is one of the top ranked high school catchers in the draft. He has a strong commitment to Cal State Fullerton and has said that he will attend there so signing him is unlikely. He was ranked #104 on the MLB pre-draft list. In 120 career high school games he had a .340 AVG with 11 HR and 75 RBI playing in one of the most competitive prep leagues in the country.

Featured image of Jordan Groshans – via MLB Network on Twitter

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